Zorc: Dortmund disappointed Gotze ditched us

The BVB chief criticised the timing of the Germany international’s decision to swap Bundesliga clubs and insisted Marco Reus is going nowhere

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has spoken out about his disappointment in Mario Gotze’s decision to ditch the club for Bayern Munich this summer.

The prodigiously talented 21-year-old agreed to swap Signal Iduna Park for the Allianz Arena for an estimated €37 million in April, just before a crucial Champions League semi-final game with Real Madrid.

The move angered many BVB fans and Zorc admits it was frustrating to know Gotze would leave but criticised the extreme reaction in some quarters.

He told Bild: “Of course we were disappointed about his decision to leave us – especially about the timing. One has to admit that.

“However, the vilification of him I condemn in the strongest terms. I have recently congratulated him for his birthday [June 3].”

Zorc shot down suggestions that Gotze’s fellow Germany international Marco Reus might be the next star exiting Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

“We have long-term plans with Marco, which is also discussed with him that way,” he added.

Transfer Talk: Real Madrid could reunite Suarez & Cavani but do Barcelona want Torres?

We run through the latest talking points in world football and which stars could be on the move this summer as James Richardson is joined by Gaizka Mendieta and Peter Staunton

The giants of the Clasico are in the market for strikers and we ask who might be drawn to La Liga’s biggest sides.

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are both making encouraging noises about Real Madrid while Barcelona have been linked with Chelsea misfit Fernando Torres. Tottenham, meanwhile, are closing in on Brazil international Paulinho while Spain Under-21s star Isco could be heading to the Premier League…

To discuss these and all the other rumours and whispers, James Richardson is joined by Goal‘s Peter Staunton and former Barca midfielder Gaizka Mendieta as we go through the latest talk from the transfer market.

Pique: Barca must strive to keep Thiago

The Blaugrana defender has urged his side to do everything in their power to retain the starlet, following months of speculation linking the U21 champion to the Premier League

Gerard Pique has called on Barcelona to “convince” wantaway midfielder Thiago that his future lies at Camp Nou.

The 22-year-old had been linked with a move away from the Spanish champions in recent months, and his fine performances at the European Under-21 Championship – including a hat-trick in Friday’s 4-2 final victory over Italy – has prompted a sudden surge in speculation.

Yet his Barca team-mate has urged the club to do everything they possibly can to keep Thiago in Catalunya, although he appeared to remind the Italy-born ace that his predecessors also had to wait their turn before establishing themselves in the first team.

“There is a possibility that he can go, but we have to convince him that the best place for him is the club [Barcelona],” Pique told reporters.

“The players currently in starting positions were patient [for their turn] and have since marked an era.”

Pique then paid tribute to Blaugrana colleague Carles Puyol, following the centre-back’s return to the operating table to solve a long-standing knee problem, and Spain compatriot Iker Casillas, for his “surprising” performance against Uruguay in the Confederations Cup.

“When he is fit, he remains one of the top five centre-backs in the world,” noted the former Manchester United man.

“I was also surprised with how good he was [against Uruguay] after not playing for months at Real Madrid.”

Verratti: Capello is perfect for PSG

The Italian midfielder has expressed his desire to stay at Parc des Princes, despite rumours to the contrary, and played down Andrea Pirlo comparisons

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti believes Fabio Capello would be the perfect head coach replacement should Carlo Ancelotti leave his role this summer.

The current Russia trainer has been heavily rumoured to be les Parisiens’ top target, with Real Madrid closing in on convincing the Ligue 1 champions to part with Ancelotti as they look for someone to step into Jose Mourinho’s shoes.

Verratti, who enjoyed a league-winning debut season at Parc des Princes, admits he would be sad to see the current coach depart but insists that the ex-England and Juventus boss would be a brilliant successor.

“Capello would be perfect for me – he is a coach who has made history in Italian football,” the 20-year-old told Sky Sport.

“I’d be very happy. But I owe so much to Ancelotti, I will be thankful to him for all my life.”

Verratti has been linked with a move away from PSG in the upcoming transfer window, along with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, but the Italy international has played down such suggestions, as well as Andrea Pirlo comparisons.

“I feel good in Paris, the club have believed in me and I will not disappoint them,” he added. “I want to repay the faith that the Paris Saint-Germain had in me.

”I have to do my part in the club. All I need to do in my career is to do half of everything that Andrea Pirlo has done.”

PSG will have to pay off the remaining 12 months left on Capello’s current contract with Russia to hire the iconic Italian.

Mata only focused on Confederations Cup amid Chelsea exit rumours

The Blues Player of the Year insists he is paying no attention to mounting rumours that he will leave the club and says his primary concern is performing well for Spain

Chelsea winger Juan Mata insists he is fully focused on playing football after being linked with a summer move away from Stamford Bridge.

Mata has become a key figure in west London since arriving from Valencia in 2011 and was crowned the club’s Player of the Year for the second season running after playing a major role in the side’s Europa League success and third-place finish in the Premier League. 

Recent reports suggested returning Blues boss Jose Mourinho would be open to selling Mata, but the 25-year-old insists he is ignoring all transfer gossip and is concentrating solely on winning the Confederations Cup with Spain.

“Obviously it’s tough, talking about it physically, but I don’t feel down, I still feel fresh and all I want is to play as many games as I can,” he told Sky Sports.

“I really enjoyed this season. It was a tough and long for us, but at the end we won a trophy so it was good.

“I really love to play with my national team, so all I can do is train and look forward to playing, because I love to play football.”